Team Liquid qualified to Worlds’ main event by securing first place in Play-Ins. On a surprising turn of events, Liquid dropped a game against the winless INTZ. That result forced Liquid into a tiebreaker against Legacy Esports where the North American representative outclassed the opponent.
Heading to Worlds, there were many questions about Liquid and how well the LCS team would fare against the international opponents. Team Liquid is a team that likes to play a steady game with little room for mistakes and improvisation, making sure it checks all the boxes before destroying the nexus. This is a style that clashes with the overall skirmished oriented meta. Liquid can fight, but only if it has to and has something to win, while other teams force fights just for the fun of it.
The loss against INTZ proved one thing: Liquid needs to play compositions that are easy to execute. If Liquid goes experimental, the team crumbles.
Play-ins was the perfect warm-up exercise for Team Liquid. The team looks confident on the map with every member performing at the highest level. This is to be expected from Liquid; the team has two former World Champions and four imports, two of them with North American residency.
Team Liquid will be seeded into either Group A or Group B. Group A includes Suning, G2 Esports, and Machi. Group B consists of JD Gaming, DAMWON Gaming, and Rogue. Based on the style of game Liquid plays, the squad would do better on Group A where G2 is the team to beat. G2 enjoys a little bit of mindless skirmishing, but the team has also shown weakness against teams that play an organized game.
Considering the current form of the Liquid players, it’s easy to place it as the team advancing out of groups on the main event. Of course, it’s too early to say and it wouldn’t be the first time a North American team disappoints when it matters the most.
If Team Liquid ends up getting seeded into Group B, the chances to advance on the tournament are reduced significantly. This is a group that revolves around the junglers and their synergy with their laners. Liquid has good players, but it’s undeniable that JDG and DAMWON are one step ahead of the competition on that front.
Realistically, Liquid might stand a chance against Rogue, a team that plays a similar style. Against JDG and DAMWON, the chances are small, maybe almost non-existent. JDG and DAMWON are two teams that like to fight and excel at it. Group B would be a challenge for Liquid and would put the team’s ability to adapt to a different pace in the game to the ultimate test.
Liquid returns to the stage on October 3.